When you are reading this post, it’s about time when I’m preparing or taking finals at college which is also known as my “crazy busy time with no sleep and lots of coffee.” Even though it might sound counterproductive, I decided to take a break from my studies and write this post for you guys in case you are also struggling with managing time while preparing for the exams. I feel that reflecting on life lessons learned from attending academia helps to bring new meaning to studying and potentially eliminate some of the stress affiliated with exams.
Today, I’m collaborating with Wacom and Her Campus Media to share with you some of the life lessons that I’ve learned while at college. I also share some of fun stories from when I was at middle and high school. I hope you enjoy this post and look forward to hearing your thoughts on what attending college taught you.
#1: Being Organized Is Always a Good Idea
I can’t remember if I was an organized student back in the elementary school, but in the middle school I’ve been somewhat OCD about staying on top of things. I remember how I packed my bag every single night so I don’t forget anything and had an entire system on which items I need to bring with me to school. Looking back, it sounds so silly, but I had everything you could imagine in my bag: from a lip balm to a scotch tape and even a miniature sewing kit (I can’t remember one instance actually using it). Keeping my belonging in place helped me to clean up my mind and make sure that I’m prepared for absolutely any situation.
The same situation happened in college: I have an entire system on how I’m staying organized in college and these techniques actually help me to feel that I’m staying on top of other aspects of my life too. It might sound silly, but I feel like cleaning up my desk, organizing my bag and files helps me to clean up my mind and be a better decision maker. Saying so, college really helped me to become a more organized person in general which is an important quality to have when you start working “in the real world.”
#2: Always Put Your Best Foot Forward
You might not have all the time in the world to work on your paper, but it’s important to deliver your best work every single time your professor assigns you a project. In my experience, such hands-on approach to college assignments does not only create a better impression of you as a student (which potentially leads to a higher grade), but also helps to develop of a habit of always trying to do your best.
Personally, I feel that such quality is essential, especially when you are entering the workspace. Think about it that way: if your boss knows that you are a reliable person at any task he or she assigns you, you have better chances of being promoted, right?. In other words, trying to do your best will benefit you not only in terms of grades, but also help to develop a habit of always performing at your highest capacity.
#3: Don’t Rely Too Much on Technology
I noticed early on that bringing my laptop to the class dramatically lowers my productivity level. I find a million things to do on my laptop while the professor is explaining the topic! I would read news glimpsing on the screen when the teacher turns back, I would respond to blog comments pretending that I’m taking notes, I would organize my desktop instead of writing down the homework… While the convenience of writing the paper on your laptop is undeniable, class notes are the most helpful if you are taking them by hand.
As you already know, my favorite way of taking class notes is with the help of my Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad (℅). It’s a unique device which allows you taking notes as usually (meaning, with the pen and paper) and then digitally save them. It’s super fun and convenient way of bringing technology into your studying routine without the distractions that you would have if using a laptop. (Read more about my smartpad by Wacom in this blog post).
#4: Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
I have a suspicion that many people in my classes don’t really like me, because I just never stop talking. It’s not I’m trying to impress my professors or show up how smart I am, I just need to make sure that I understand what the professor is trying to teach us. I ask questions, I share my personal experience, I paraphrase professor’s thoughts and request confirmation that I understood everything properly…
Yes, I’m one of those annoying “I want to know everything” kind of students that nobody likes, but you know what? When it comes to exams I always know what is expected from me because I eliminated all of the uncertainties when I was learning about the subject at the first place instead of trying to figure things on my own the night before the exam. When I realized that I eliminated the fear of asking questions, I became a better student and dramatically improved my English! I’m an immigrant and I had to learn about everything in this country from scratch, without knowing the language. In this process, asking questions was crucial and I continue working on my exploration journey every single day.
#5: Learn How to Distress
This one is the most difficult techniques for me as I’ve always been a workaholic. To understand the whole spectrum of this problem, I’ll tell you that I can’t even watch a movie without doing something else work-related as it feels like I’m wasting time by simply staring at the screen… It’s crucial to allow your brain and body to relax so you can stay healthy and be more productive, but it’s so incredibly hard to accomplish!
One of the things that I learned in college was that massage is the best stress-therapy for me. It started a few years ago when the college I was attending at the time started offering free chair massages during the midterms and finals. I used this service religiously as massage really helped me to take a break from studying and truly rejuvenate. These days, I expanded my vocabulary of relaxation techniques and added yoga, facials, mani-pedi, and pretty much any beauty procedure you could imagine to help me disconnect from working… and become a more productive worker!
Of course, I learned more than five lessons while attending college, but these are the most practical ones that I use in my everyday life. I wonder if you have similar experiences to mine while at college? What are some of the lessons that you learned while working towards your degree?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wacom and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own.